For some business owners, February is a bittersweet month.
Sweet for those business owners happily celebrating their love because they are quietly confident that the business is progressing as it should and there is money in the bank for some luxury treats.
Bitter for those living with the nagging thoughts of self-doubt and pending failure. Stressed because business is uncertain and things could swing anyway any moment. These people will be unable to enjoy or celebrate in February their actions will simply be a way of holding the forte. Relationships are being destroyed by businesses that are devouring their owner’s time, energy and money.
We make light of business sometimes but the consequences of failure really are unthinkable.
Consider the cases of Sally and Gerry. These are true stories with real people just like you and me. Names have been changed to protect identities.
Start-up Sally experienced a couple of months of serious depression trying to single handedly manage the pressures of work and family obligations. She and her family needed counseling and the family went through hell under the weight of a new business venture.
Growth phase Gerry was kept up at night worrying about all the people she would disappoint if she was unable to pay her staff and make payments to her suppliers. She was thinking that affirmations sucked!
These two scenarios are more common than we care to admit. There are people who have lost a lot or on the brink of losing everything because business is not shaping up as they expected. They are just holding on hoping the tide turns in their favor soon. You may be happy to know, Sally and Gerry’s situations have improved with better financial management and good old motivation.
Others are working 80hour weeks on their businesses and unable to spend time with the loved ones they are trying to provide for. They literally hate the businesses they are running and can’t see any way out. Singles feel trapped by their businesses because they can’t make the time to go out to socialize.
I hope I haven’t killed the mood with my stories.
It doesn’t have to be this way. For most businesses things could turnaround with a different approach. A tweak here and there. A new insight and perspective from an outside eye if only there were willing to try it.
For those businesses that still have a pulse (some fighting chance for survival) here are three tips to help you get back in love with your business and ready to splurge come next February.
Step One: Make it a lean fit machine
Ruthlessly remove all excess fat from your business by reducing your monthly outgoings. The general BIGGIES being rent and staff cost and any other items that will only come to your attention if your review your profit and lost statements regularly. This step will take the pressure off and give you back some control over your affairs. Without this initial crucial step, any cash brought in will just be wasted. Complete this step and you are one step closer to transforming your business.
Step Two: Ride the tide, don’t wait for it to turn
With your costs under control, you can now draw up a profit enhancement plan and work it like a maniac. Only take a break when you start seeing results but only briefly because you need to maintain the momentum. This is where you get your mojo back. When you start seeing results from your intensely focused actions, you are motivated to do more. You’ll then start enjoying or even loving your business again.
Step Three: Now you can design your lifestyle
The next step is to step back and work out the hours you’d like to work and schedule your business around it. Aiming to work more efficiently so that your time off is really time off. You’d have planned it and well you have some cash on hand for some treats as well. You can now delegate to a great team that your can afford.
Hope is not a strategy so get help if you must whilst your business still has some pulse in it. You know where to find me :-).
Any thoughts and comments welcome.